Tag Archives: Roger Babson

Gloucester’s mystery Civil War Era Coat tomorrow CITY HALL 1-4pm

Cat Ryan says have a closer look thanks to Cape Ann Giclee

Hi Joey

Mold and forgotten history has damaged a distinctive 19th century jacket, our very own historic ‘coat of many colors’ worth more than the fabric itself!

80 years ago Roger Babson presented this Civil War era coat to the community during a town wide celebration for the 50th Anniversary of the Gloucester High School Cadets, an ROTC forerunner founded by Albert W. Bacheler (b. 1843 Indiana – d.1929 Melrose, MA). Bacheler was an esteemed principal of Gloucester High School for a staggering 30 years (1814-1913), a Civil War Veteran (New Hampshire regiment Army of the Potomac), and a Dartmouth alum.

Chairs for 1500 people were set up in advance of that event! Artist Charles Allan Winter designed the program!

You see, it wasn’t just any coat.

Back then everyone in Gloucester knew Babson and Bacheler and understood the many reasons that this very special coat was a gift for our City. Babson was a key speaker at the event and his topic was solely Bacheler and this coat. School teachers and colleagues said that Bacheler liked to show his students the coat as inspiration, a reminder that one never need to be discouraged. Principal Bacheler told students how this coat was given to him by a Virginia slave who harbored him after his escape from Richmond’s infamous Libby Prison during the Civil War. While this incredible story warrants our attention, verification and further exploration—what a great project for our students!

In 2015, the coat that remains to tell the story is in immediate need of our care.

A concerned parent noticed that the coat near ROTC and Veterans awards and memorials at Gloucester High School had developed mold and brought it to the attention of various folks in town. The coat is everyone’s artifact. The school budget, PTOs, City Archives, city committees, the Cape Ann Museum—none have a budget to pay for this coat repair. The coat has been examined by a professional textile conservator through the Committee for the Arts. This garment needs to be fumigated, cleaned and repaired. It also requires an armature to support it and new display. The estimate for treatment and preparing it for installation is $3800.

Come “see” the coat during Jason Grow’s WWII Veterans’ Portrait Exhibition at City Hall on Saturday, November 7, 2015, from 1-4pm. The coat is too fragile to travel at present and will be represented by a full size photograph thanks to the generosity of Cape Ann Giclee! thank you James!

Donations will be accepted at the event or checks can be mailed and made payable to The Gloucester Fund, 45 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA. PLEASE write “Civil War coat” in memo field on the check. We are setting up a youcaring site and will apply to Awesome Gloucester.

Some Babson Boulders

The Babson Boulders are always good targets for a walk in the woods.

If you click on the photo Rubber Duck also visits, “Prosperity Follows Service”, orange blaze trail, rock on little rocks, RD takes a dip in the creek, “BEON TIME”, “Study”, cellar hole 22 and large cracked alien egg rock at the top of Tarr Trail.

What kind of time is BEON time? Just kidding. Really needs a space though. Captain Samuel Riggs son Joseph lived at #22.

FYI: being Sunday and all if you zoom in on Rubber Duck you can check out how she is styling with a beaded necklace from Beth Williams.

Roger Babson Riddle Video From Thomas Soucy

Thomas writes-

Located in Cape Ann Massachusetts there exists a ghost town called “Dog Town”. In that wooded area there exists an unusual hiking trail that includes viewing about 30 boulders that have carved inscriptions.

Roger Babson (1875 – 1967), a descendant of the Dog Town hamlet’s earliest settlers was a founder of three colleges, eccentric and moralizer. He even spent time trying to discover ways to defeat gravity…

Source: Dog Town a Village Lost in Time by Thomas Dresser

As a ‘moralizer’ Babson hired out of work quarry people to carve sayings on boulders in Dog Town. The appearance of the carved boulders seemingly has no pattern. But after some thought we discern three groupings: ideals, ideas to implement them and truths.

  • The ‘ideals’ are: Integrity, Loyalty, Industry, Spiritual Power, Initiative, Intelligence and Kindness.
  • The Ideas put forward to implement the ideals are shown after each Ideal boulder.
  • Also the truths, when appropriate, are shown.

As a ‘moralizer’ Babson left us with a riddle. What is he telling us by his legacy of boulder inscriptions in Dog Town (a modern day ghost town)?

During his life he tried to find ways to “defeat gravity”. Hatred is gravity. Hope, faith and love are uplifting or anti-gravity (as are his wonderful sayings)!

What follows is a video that depicts the Babson Boulders:

here is a pdf to go with it-

Roger Babson Riddle PDF






Babson Boulder Kindness

Photo by E.J. Lefavour

Did you know?

That millionaire philanthropist, and 10th generation Gloucester inhabitant, Roger Ward Babson (1875-1967), provided charitable assistance to unemployed stonecutters in Gloucester during the Great Depression, by commissioning them to carve inspirational inscriptions on approximately two dozen boulders in the area surrounding Dogtown Common. This boulder is the one I chose for January’s image in my 2011 Dogtown and Babson Boulders calendar because I think the message is the most important one to start out any new year with. If we all resolve to spend the New Year performing random acts of kindness, what an amazing year 2011 will be.

E.J. Lefavour


2011 Dogtown and Babson Boulders Calendar Update

I have been getting calls from people looking for the calendars. I am out of them and won’t have more in until Christmas Eve Day – however, you can still get them at Joncien, 25 Bearskin Neck, Rockport (Leslie 978-546-9161), Dogtown Book Shop, 132 Main Street, Gloucester (Bob 978-281-5599), and at Toad Hall Bookstore, 47 Main Street, Rockport (978-546-7323), Willow Rest is out, but will have more on Friday. To all of you who have purchased the calendar, Thank You, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it. E.J.

2011 Dogtown and Babson Boulders Calendar

The Calendars are in! And the printer did a beautiful job on them. This high quality, uniquely Cape Ann, 8.5×11″ (11×17″ open) 12 month calendar is now available to purchase, just in time for that unique last minute gift you were searching for, or that special calendar for yourself. It includes 12 stunning full size black and white photos of Babson Boulders (Kindness, Spiritual Power, Courage, Loyalty, Ideas, Use Your Head, Industry, Be On Time, Study, Work, Truth and Keep Out of Debt), along with a two-page history of Dogtown, Roger Babson and the Babson Boulders. They are available at Joncien, 25 Bearskin Neck, Rockport, Dogtown Book Shop, 132 Main Street, Gloucester, Toad Hall Bookstore, 47 Main Street, Rockport and through Khan Studio in Annisquam Village at a cost of $15 ($20 if you want it shipped). This calendar will make a great gift for anyone who loves Cape Ann, rocks, nature, Dogtown, timeless words of wisdom, history and heritage of this little slice of Heaven we inhabit. You can see it at http://www.khanstudiointernational.com/dogtown%20and%20babson%20boulders%20calendar.htm.  Please email me at khanstudio@comcast.net if you would like to order one (or more), or stop by any of the above-mentioned shops. If you don’t happen to live on or near Cape Ann, you can order, pay by credit card and have one shipped to you by Joncien (call Leslie Asare at Joncien 978-546-9161, or if you can’t reach her, call EJ at 857-891-9054). Happy Holidays. EJ

Exciting little newsflash.  The Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson College just ordered 40 Dogtown and Babson Boulders calendars.  I am honored to have a bunch of my calendars go to Babson College, probably the most important of the many life projects of

Roger Ward Babson.

Did you know? Roger Babson

E.J. Lefavour  writes-

Did you know?

That Roger Babson, founder of Babson College, and the philanthropist millionaire who hired unemployed stonecutters after the Great Depression to carve messages on the boulders scattered throughout Dogtown, was also instrumental in the formation of the Squam Rock Land Trust? This Trust maintains and protects the large tract of rolling meadow, boulders (including Squam Rock) and trails that lead from Walnut Street down to Lighthouse Beach, from development in perpetuity. Sarah Hackett, 84-year-old Annisquam native, remembers when Babson came to her grandfather’s house to impress upon him the importance of protecting this land from the rich who would build their mansions on it and block the village residents’ access. Those of you who know Squam Rock, can you tell what is wrong with this picture?

Answer: (Squam Rock is not actually carved on Squam Rock, but on the granite block at Squam Rock Road and Walnut Street)


E.J. Lefavour Khan Studio www.khanstudiointernational.com